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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 16, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 42 THE LETHBRIDGE HERAID Wednesday, May 16, 1973 Zambia honors explorer-missionary Livingstone New York Times Service LUSAKA, Zambia When the eerie cry of the fish eagle resounds in the Bangweulu swamps of northern Zambia, it is, as Dr. David Livingstone remarked a century ago, as though the large black and white predator "were calling to someone in another world." On May 1, 1873 south of those desolate, malaria-infest- ed swamps in what was then the village of Chief Chitambo the famed explorer, exhaust- ed by intensified by a grueling eight month trek through the swamps, knelt in prayer at his bedside and then died. Last week, about peo- ple, led by Kenneth D. Kaunda, president of this Republic, made a special pil- grimage to Chief Chitambo's old village, now called Chipun- du, to pay tribute to the Scot- tish missionary explorer. PLAQUE On a hill overlooking grassy plains flooded annually by the waters of Lake Bangweulu, the president, unveiled a plaque. Marking the centenary of Liv- ingstone's death, it reads: "After 100 years, the love of God and the memory of David Livingstone so enamored his friends of aU races that they are gathered here in thanks- giving on 1st May, 1973, led by Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, president of the Republic of Zambia." "What dominated Living- stone's life was his sense of mission as a servant of the people of said the president. "He did not see himself a leader in any sense at all." Two of the explorer's great- granddaughters took part in the ceremonies in a forest clearing dominated by a 20- foot-high stone monument sur- mounted by a black cross, erected in 1902 to replace the beetle-ravaged tree next to which Dr. Livingstone's heart buried by faithful follow- ers. "I would like to think that Livingstone, by example, con- tributed in some measure to the birth of the Zambian na- tion." said 45-year-old Mrs. Elspeth Murdoch .of Stirling Scotland, who was accompanied by her sister, Mrs. Mary Dick- smith, 43, of Dumfries, Scot- land. She recalled that her great- grandfather had written: "The day of Africa has yet to come.1' President Kaunda said that Livingstone's exploration was aimed at opening up the inter- ior of Africa to commerce by finding river waterways that could carry traders there. Jt was his hope that general com- merce in east, west and cen- tral Africa would replace the slave trade against which he campaigned relentlessly. Livingstone set off on his final journey, in search of the sources of the Nile and Congo rivers, on Aug. 25, 1872, from Unyanyambe, today the stra- tegic rail junction of Tabora in Tanzania. The last white man to see him before malaria took his life was Henry Morton Stan- ley of The New York Herald, who had carried out his assign- ment to find Livingstone, of whom little had been heard for more than a year. On the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika, the famous words, "Dr. Livingstone, I were uttered, and the two men spent four months exploring the lake before Livingstone un- dertook his final exploration. SWAMPS Skirting the southern end of Lake Tanganyika, he headed toward Lake Bangweulu on a path that lay through swamps stretch'flg for hundreds of miles under the incessant an- nual rains. His diary entry for April 6, 1873, said: "Pitiless pelting showers wetted everything." April 7: "We -were lost in stiff grassy prairies, from three to four feet deep in water, for five hours. All hands at the large canoe could move her only a few feet." April 10: "I am pale, blood- less and weak from bleeding profusely ever since 3lst of March last: an artery gives off copious stream and takes away my strength. Oh, how I long to be permitted by the Over Power to finish my work." April 21: "Tried to ride, but was forced to lie down, and they carried me back to vil. Ex- hausted." It was the final entry in his diary. His bearers carried him into Chief Chitambo's village on April 2nd, 1873. Two days later he was dead. He -was 60 years old. BURIAL Susi, the lead bearer, decid- ed that the body should be bur- ied in Britain. The heart was buried near where UK monu- ment stands today, and the body was dried for two weeks and embalmed with brandy and salt. Then Susi and us men set off eastward across miles of swamp and desolation, past hostile tribes and wild animals, with their cargo wrapped like a bale of cloth to escape de- tection by tribesmen who would object to its presence. After nine months they reach- ed the coast, and the body was shipped for burial in Westmin- ster. The journey today takes 24 hours across a highway con- structed with American aid. Livingstone was, said Kaun- da, "one of the greatest men who have ever come to live and work in this continent from other parts of the world." SIMPSONS bears Pants that fit. Our very best comfort fit Dolyester double